I’m Simon, I’m married to Saira, we have two dogs, Scooby and Scrappy and we’re going on an #adVANture.
In October this year (2017) I will retire from the Fire Service having served 27 year. Last year we came up with the idea of a great adVANture. With no budget and no van life experience we set off planning, see below for how it happened.
We have both camped all our lives and a fair bit since we met and last year we decided to do an extended trip during my long leave, Saira had one previso “we need something proper to sleep on”. This led to looking at vans, something we had both thought about individually but not mentioned to each other. When it did come up it was something we both agreed upon and set about looking.
I have subsequently taken to watching endless YouTube videos about van life and see you are supposed to take months selecting a van that is suitable for your needs or you can work with. We bought one the same day, infact with in hours. I think we’ve been lucky, it hasn’t bitten us, but it hasn’t so we’re smiling.
Cost is something we had to avoid we didn’t have a budget because we didn’t have any money, we landed on our feet. We bought a 2000 registered care bus which was being used as a mental health charity drop in. So let’s look at that, we landed on our feet from the start I’d say, its maintained because of what it used to be and what it was when we bought it, I can assure you this was luck we ploughed on and its only looking back that we appreciate this. Take your time if your doing this.
Our bus had been sold before but the buyer didn’t come forward thanks eBay. We bought our bus for £2,550 and went to collect it the following day, yep we were shitting it, what had we done?
The initial outlay wiped us, anything that need doing was going to be done monthly as we got paid. Can I just say here campers in the UK are ridiculously priced we couldn’t afford anything.
Anyway, for the first week away we used her as she was, only widening the bed and buying a mattress.
12 months on we’re near the finished article or at least as finished as it will be with us. Alterations I’ve made so
- New bed
- New cupboards
- Running water
- Solar & new battery
- New seating
I reckon we’ve spent less that £1000, we couldn’t have got anywhere near this if we’d have bought it ready built, how I did it I’m sure will be on another page.
I am Saira and have taken a year off from my job lecturing at John Moores University in Liverpool. I teach Education Studies and was the branch secretary of my union, the UCU before I left. I fully intend to return to work in August 2018. Si thinks I should retire. I don’t want to.